In this study of Emilio Picariello (aka Emperor Pick) Adriana Davies paints a vivid portrait of what life was like at the turn of the 20th century in the Canadian west for Italian immigrants, with opportunity hampered by bigotry. Despite this, Emilio managed to build quite the empire, with both legal and illegal business.
His predilection for running alcohol between BC and Alberta, however, is what led to his demise, as well as the demise of his employee, Filumena Lassandro. Both were executed for the murder, with Filumena the last woman executed in Alberta.
Davies' thesis questions the guilty verdict with a thorough analysis of the historical record, and her narrative is illustrated with a number of images, including many that have never been published before.
Adriana A. Davies
Adriana Davies is a well-known researcher, writer, editor and poet. She was the Executive Director of the Alberta Museums Association for thirteen years and Executive Director of the Heritage Community Foundation for ten years. Under her leadership, the Foundation created the Alberta Online Encyclopedia comprising 84 multi-media websites, which were gifted to the University of Alberta in 2009.
She is the author of From Realism to Abstraction: The Art of J. B. Taylor (2014, University of Calgary Press) and co-editor of The Frontier of Patriotism: Alberta and the First World War (to be published by the University of Calgary Press in 2016). Dr. Davies was invested in the Order of Canada, in 2010 for her contributions to heritage. In 2015, she was awarded a knighthood (Cavaliere d'Italia) by the Government of Italy for her contributions to the preservation of the Italian language and culture, and her research and publications on Italian immigration to Canada.
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